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NAR: Don’t Harm Homeownership Common Interests

real estate agent, realtor, homeowner, hispanic, familyThe National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Iona Harrison, Chair of NAR’s Federal Taxation Committee, testified before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday during a hearing entitled “Individual Housing Reform.”

Recent proposals for tax reform eliminate benefits such as the state and local tax deduction, which according to the press release, would essentially nullify benefits of the mortgage interest deduction and caps to the MID. Though Realtors have previously warned that doing away with these incentives would raise taxes for millions of middle-class homeowners, critics say the deductions only benefit a small number of wealthy individuals.

However, “70 percent of the value of real property tax deductions in 2014 went to taxpayers with incomes less than $200,000; 53 percent of individuals claiming the itemized deduction for real estate taxes in 2014 earned less than $100,000; 32.7 million tax filers claimed a deduction for mortgage interest in 2015; [and] half of taxpayers with mortgages over $500,000 have AGI below $200,000,” according to research conducted for NAR.

The last time Congress implemented a major tax reform was in 1986, and it either eliminated or significantly changed a significant number of tax revisions, such as major real estate provisions, to lower rates. However, according to Harrison, in 1991, they increased the rates again.

Harrison said despite the voicing of their concerns, Realtors do support tax reform—they just want to bring to Congress’ attention that homeowners already pay 83 percent of all federal income taxes, and reforms raising those taxes would be a failed effort.

"NAR supports the goals of simplification and structural improvements for the tax system, and individual tax rates should be as low as possible while still providing for a balanced fiscal policy,” Harrison said. “We simply believe that to achieve these goals, Congress should commit first to doing no harm to the common interest that homeownership provides."

To see the full press release, click here.

About Author: Brianna Gilpin

Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation's leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected].

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